Tennessee Kindred Stories of Disability

A collection of stories from individuals with disabilities, families, friends, and disability service providers in Tennessee

Marina (11), Intellectual Disability, Davidson County

"Marina’s time at school is crucial to her daily schedule and to her life in the community. "

  • A Parent's Perspective
  • Posted on 7/08/2013

Marina is eleven-years-old and has an intellectual disability. Her family is from Egypt, and Marina’s mother Samia discussed the struggles and hardships she faced while trying to care for Marina there.  Marina was born blind, non-verbal, and with extremely limited physical capabilities.  While living in Egypt, Samia used to carry her miles to find a doctor who would care for her.  In hopes of receiving better and more accessible healthcare, Samia and her husband decided to move their family to the United States.

Marina is a student at a local school that caters to students with disabilities. A bus takes her to and from school, which serves as one of the only places she spends time at outside of her home due to the difficulties of transporting her. Her family does not have an accessible vehicle, so Marina’s time at school is crucial to her daily schedule and to her life in the community.  Additionally, a nurse comes to help the family for about six hours a day, but Samia sadly told us the hospital is trying to decrease this amount of time.  Due to the intense care that Marina requires, Samia is now experiencing some physical challenges. She has problems with her back. Samia used to be able to work cleaning homes, but the severity of her back pain now makes this impossible.  As a result, her husband is now cleaning homes in order to provide for their family. Samia is currently taking ESL classes, with the hopes of eventually becoming a nurse so the family’s quality of life and care for Marina can be improved.

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